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Father of Newtown victim gets Rangers 1st pitch

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) The father of a 6-year-old girl who was among the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut will throw the ceremonial first pitch before the Texas Rangers’ home opener.


Robbie Parker is a longtime Rangers fan who grew up in North Texas.


Parker’s 6-year-old daughter, Emilie, was among 20 first-graders and six adults killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.


The Rangers said Friday that Robbie Parker will be accompanied by his wife, Alissa, and daughters Madeline and Samantha for the first-pitch ceremony April 5 before the game against the Los Angeles Angels.


Robbie Parker took Emilie to several Rangers games in Arlington, Seattle and Boston.


The Rangers said thousands of dollars have been donated by individuals in North Texas to Emilie’s Fund, which assisted families of those impacted by the tragedy. Earlier this year, Parker’s brother, Jeremie, who still lives in North Texas, read a message of gratitude on his brother’s behalf on the team’s flagship radio station.


‘‘I am so proud to be a Ranger fan, because I know that as a fan I actually belong to a community. I am glad I was able to share the community with my precious daughter and that the same community has reached out to her and let our family know that she is remembered and loved,’’ part of the message read. ‘‘Thank you for all you have done to support our family through this time.’’


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Rich Valdes

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